After scrapping the proposal of the previous government due to lack of transparency, the Trinamool Congress government had engaged a firm to carry a survey and to prepare a feasibility report.
Amit Mitra, the state finance minister, on Friday said that as per the feasibility report, the port is proposed to come up in between the 3 km long sea shore off Tajpur and Shankarpur.
As per the new plan, there is a requirement of dredging work of only 18.8 km compared to that of 93 km in the previous plan. The silt that would be dredged out will be used again to form a reclaim land of a dimension of 2 km in length and 2.5 km in breadth on which the major portion of the port will come up.
Thus, there is no need of any land acquisition. The excess silt will be dumped in a low vested land, which again will improve the quality of the plot. Now the project cost has come down to Rs 4,231 crores compared to that of Rs 8,000 crores only for the first phase of the previous plan.
Vessels with a parcel size of 60,000 tonnes will able to avail the port with 12 metre draft. It may be mentioned that at present, vessels only with a capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 tonnes can avail the Haldia Port. Moreover, there will be general cargo storage besides two coal berths and separate yards for iron ore, lime stone and containers.
It may be recalled that the five different companies had bagged the contract for the port at Rosulpur. They had moved to Court after the project was scrapped. Thus, the state government will submit a report to the Court stating the development in this case after it is passed by the Cabinet following a nod of the standing committee on infrastructure.
Mitra said the new plan will also not cause any harm to the tourism sector in the region as there is a guard wall in the coast between Shankarpur and Tajpur. There is a “horse shoe” at the area that was identified for the project earlier and the port would have been in an unsafe position with the gas pipelines passing through the area. Thus the new plan is not only cost friendly, but also at the same time safety and security of the port will also be maintained.
Moreover, for this project the state government’s investment would be just Rs 150 crores to provide rail and road link. “The scope of business here is so high that there are proposals to bring up some more ports including one in Kulpi. There is also a proposal of setting up a ship building unit at Kulpi,” Mitra said adding that a Maritime Board would also come into existence to monitor the inland transport.